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Pratik
Haitian Personal Economic Relationships

Sidney W. Mintz
John Hopkins University

© 2011 Sidney W. Mintz Open Anthropology Cooperative Press www.openanthcoop.net/press
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2 . Moral's estimates (1959: 84) suggest somewhat more than 50. I continue to use the present tense – but the substance of the paper is unmodified." The "ou" is as in French. Creole words are transcribed in the Laubach orthography. then prepared for publication as Mintz (1961) “Pratik: Haitian personal economic relationships.000 male traders. Over "0. In a population believed to total 3. The phenomenon it describes was observed during 1958-59.” Proceedings of the Annual Spring Meetings. while I was working in Haiti. and so on. transport. and distinguished from French words by their orthography. Port-au-Prince. the "ch" as in English "sh. I have made some small changes in this text – e. Trade is carried on by thousands of intermediaries. The accent aigu over "e" is as in French. Retail stores are much less important than the market places. are alive and well in that suffering country. and in large provincial centers such as Cap Haïtien and Les Cayes. minor processing and 1 In what follows. American Ethnological Society: 54-63. These figures are probably too low. Readers may be struck by the manifest changes in Haiti since 1958." The circumflex indicates nasalization. in the countryside such stores are of little significance in economic life. but retail stores have limited importance outside the capital. storage depots and import houses are tied in with market place trade.000. In the capital.1 In 1954 there were 294 officially recognized and controlled market places in the Republic (Moral 1959: 74). even in the large towns.000 female and 15. Several field workers there now (2010) tell me that the same custom.. producers and consumers are united in exchange. Through the market places. most of them women. which made the research for this paper possible. These are the intersection points in the trade network by which the bulk of Haiti's marketed agricultural product and its imports reach their consumers. I am grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation and to the Social Science Research Council for grants. Creole words are italicized.g. omitted are the large numbers of children under fourteen years engaged in petty trade.400. including bulking. " and the "j" as in French "z. January. on which see Hall (1953). such as the sharp rise in the percentage of urban population. Such intermediaries render many different services.This paper was first given at the American Ethnological Society meetings. and the numerous part-time unlicensed intermediaries who slip in and out of trade. since intermediaries successfully interpose themselves. It may be of historical interest." the accent grave forms the equivalent of the French open "0. but few transactions involve only producer and consumer. 2011 THE MOST VISIBLE features of Haiti's internal exchange economy are its market places. and others that I have described elsewhere.

I need credit. des engagements et des dettes." And he continues: C'est le mot-clé du petit commerce rural. Accordingly.3 It is toward an examination of this relationship that the present paper is directed. 3 From Fr. 70). That’s what pratik is. calling each other bel me (stepmother). p." In the pratik relationship. p. soit par le respect qu'impose la réussite.2 The competition for the privilege of serving as an intermediary is stern. I always buy from your hand.packing. according to Katzin: 2 Bauer (1954) has made the point eloquently for West Africa. you sell to me (on credit). Moral writes: L 'attrait de l 'argent est si fort dans les compagnes et la circulation monétaire si reduite que le "capitaliste" influent du bourg rural mène la spéculation pratiquement a sa guise grâce à une "clientèle" étendue dont la fidélité est maintenue soit par le jeu compliqué des avances. each market woman seeks to protect her stake within the arena of exchange by various means. That pratik means both buyer and seller emphasizes the reciprocal nature of the relationships. I pay you well. A comparable terminology occurs in Jamaica.e. I come to buy from you each day. A paramount feature of the struggle to secure and to profit from the right to render service is the institutionalized personal economic relationship referred to in Haiti as pratik. since the Haitian economy has a large supply of labor in all sectors. were they redundant. "pratique." A typical definition of pratik is the following. Whether the intermediary's rate of profit is "unreasonable" does not appear to be a moral question but an economic one. and the provision of short-term credit. Metraux (1951." 3 . the participants are equals for purposes of trade. They hold their places in the distributive process by offering these services at prices their customers are willing to pay. "It means that you are selling. money-lending. the money is 'content' that you sell to me. soit encore par la tradition de la "pratique. "godsib" or ritual coparent] and matelot (concubine of the same man). ma kome (gossip) [i. Il désigne a la fois le vendeur et l'acheteur. 121) points out that in Haiti "The women who buy and sell are on friendly terms. Il traduit surtout la confiance réciproque et la force de l'engagement oral dans une société où le document écrit est une rareté (1959. storage. breaking bulk. their customers would circumvent them.

19). distribution is likely to have a markedly irregular character." In Haiti. Country towns are above all political administrative centers. they are always built up over time and have economic value for the participants.6 per cent of the Haitian population is urban is arbitrary in the extreme. Under such circumstances. one has pratik (ge pratik) and makes pratik (fe pratik). but country people call us customer and we call them customer. But certain features of such economies affect the ways that the relationships are worked out. Higglers call both those who sell to them and those who buy from them "my customers. and its relatively low productivity. The personal element in economic activity is of course not limited to economies of the Haitian sort. In an economy typified by smallholder farming. pratik ties add to the regularity and patterning of internal marketing activity. All of these conditions are characteristic of the Haitian economy. We are really the customer because we do the buying. This unevenness is magnified when seasonal variation in the supply of various goods and in income. pratik relationships stabilize sequences of dyadic economic transactions. at most only approximately 8 per cent of the people live under even remotely "urban" conditions (1959. with the lowest per capita income." One town higgler said: "The house buyers who buy from us are our customers. There is. these arrangements afford greater order to the distributive system as a whole. Haiti is famous for its relatively plentiful supply of labor. but I don't know what we would call them. and probably the lowest standard of living for the whole of Latin America.pp. is often sharp. feeble and dispersed demand.The term "customer" is used by Jamaicans as a generic term applied to anyone with whom one has regular business dealings. each with limited means. status. and fortune. On all of these counts it is the poorest economy in the Caribbean area. The degree of intimacy and mutual benefit varies. its agrarian nonindustrial character. limited technology. inferior transport and communications facilities. some movement of individuals in and out of the distributive system with changes in season. further. so we still call them 'customer' (1959. inadequate processing and preservation methods. p. its relatively scarce supply of capital. and numerous small-scale producers and intermediaries. To some extent they also serve as regional entrepots for agricultural 4 . 29-30). but since the relationships are intended to stabilize and maintain one’s role in distributive activity. As such. Taken together. Haiti is rural as well as agrarian. Moral demonstrates that the calculation that 12.

affecting the rate at which produce flows toward demand areas and probably helping to stabilize prices to some extent. The nature of rural production in Haiti is such that relatively little agricultural land is held in large properties. The communication of a remote unsatisfied demand may even affect tendencies in production. In this sense intermediaries help to bring distant areas into firmer contact with the cities and with other regions by their activities. Normally. and by successive harvests. Grapefruit from the north plain. Such trips open regions and may increase the likelihood that roads. 1960). and for finished goods moving into it (Mintz.produce moving out of the surrounding region. Contact between the regional administrative centers and their countrysides. and rice from the Artibonite illustrate this sort of bulking to some extent. Rapid and efficient bulking of agricultural products for resale in cities or in other regions occurs readily only where production is quite specialized. Agricultural production rests on a heterogeneous tenure situation. worked by their owners. up to four in a single year for some crops. and some women walk nearly twice that to attend particular market places. sharecropped. and is pursued on holdings that are prevailingly small. time-consuming procedure. rests to a considerable degree upon the distributive mechanisms of the internal market system. and held by customary tenure or by squatting. to walk thirty miles in a day to acquire or dispose of stock is not unusual. The sorts of information carried by market women and truckers in the course of their work include marketing intelligence. mortgaged. leased. and their calculations of demand. rented. involving personal dealings with a large number of individual producers or with other intermediaries. trucks. the intermediaries may buy in relatively small quantities. onions from St. The peasants customarily sell much of what they produce. and development activity will follow. Instead there are long-standing patterns of divided and subdivided small plots. the acquisition of stock by intermediaries for resale is a long. Raphael. and between the various regions and the capital. millet from Fond des-Negres. but its relation to the distributive pattern is of interest. or where many individual cultivators in a single sub-region have very similar farm situations. The distances covered in search of profit are staggering. by intercropping. But even in these instances. Consumption both of finished goods and of agricultural produce exhibits certain parallels to production. even on tiny plots. The rationale for maintaining highly diversified farms need not be considered here. and buy much of what they 5 . Farming itself is marked by crop diversification. limited by their available capital and media of transport.

For products. It also serves to enhance the importance of the pratik relationship. and for loci of demand. cornmeal. and the lack of adequate means of storage. so the retailers may have pratik relationships with numbers of consumers. its diversified character. spices. On the other. helps to keep supply and demand in a more balanced relationship – as reflected in price changes – than would be the case were the number of distributors reduced arbitrarily (Bauer. 1957). cloth. my major concern here. cooking oils. Intermediaries are the living links between these two aspects of the economy. greens. On the one hand they bulk produce when buying it up. 1954. Moreover. and all of them made clear that the purpose of forming pratik 6 . and with several retailers on the other. or middleman and middleman. Hence these ties form webs or networks of economic association. These transactional habits are a function of the seasonal nature of the agriculture. Since some products pass through the hands of more than a single intermediary. matches. rice. small sums are expended for small quantities. This is confirmed by the results of scores of interviews with Haitian professional market women. just as the producers may have pratik relationships with more than one bulking intermediary. the bulking intermediary may have pratik relationships with numerous small-scale producers on the one hand. the distributive mechanisms tying production and consumption together reflect their character. They render additional and incidental services at the same time. The constant search by large numbers of distributors both for supplies to be bought up for resale. but both sales and purchases are on a small scale. The presence of an oversupply of individuals always ready to provide such services sharpens the competition between intermediaries. Whether it be millet. They may also be conditioned by a cultural preference for small-scale and irregular expenditure of cash assets for consumption.consume. they break bulk in resale. Such buying habits are analogous to the practice of selling off produce irregularly and in small quantities. the chronic shortages of cash. salt. or anything else. and broken in bulk for resale by a retailer. kerosene. The rationale behind the establishment of pratik is clearly economic in nature. root crops. or middleman and consumer. pratik relationships may tie together producer and middleman. A pratik may be either one who sells to a distributive intermediary or one who buys from a distributive intermediary. Expectably. Mintz. which are bulked by an intermediary near the source of supply. soap. Every such woman interviewed stated that she had pratik. and keeps the costs of these services to the economy as a whole at a minimum.

the guarantees that a pratik relationship will persist and continue to be mutually beneficial are personal and customary. No market woman interviewed denied having pratik relationships with those who "buy from her hand”. Except in the instances of granting credit and lending money. and women who behave unethically in such relationships soon threaten their own stakes in the distributive process. Intermediaries who buy from producers do not uniformly make pratik of them.” When an intermediary has pratik among producers from whom she buys. But on the consumer side. credit. she may theoretically buy at a higher price. having bilateral relationships. the means for creating and maintaining pratik is by the granting of economic concessions. Commonly the pratik is defined as a "good customer. between intermediaries. These ties are by no means uneconomic. their existence demonstrates the Haitian market woman’s clear recognition of the general character of the economy. But she will not buy less from a single seller than her capital makes possible at one time. if those others are producers. or otherwise) are made by intermediaries both to producers and to consumers. She may pay a little more in order to improve her access to more stock in the future. Retailers-intermediaries who sell to consumers-are like intermediaries. or they serve no economic purpose for one of the participants. accept a smaller quantity for the same price. No one indicated that she bought less of a given product for the same price. and often. But obviously such concessions cannot be granted unilaterally. On the contrary. and wishes to do so to the limit of her capital. even then. This point deserves some stress if only to clarify the wholly rational economic motives which lie behind pratik relationships. non-economic. or economically irrational. Concessions (in the form of price. if this means having to seek out another seller of the same produce. however. not legal and contractual. the retailer who has pratik with her consumer customers is readier to 7 . quantity. The intermediary as buyer is acquiring stock. In effect. fail to have these ties with those from whom they buy. and to yet other intermediaries. in return for some measure of assurance that she will be able both to acquire stock and then to dispose of it. in fact. some. But dishonesty on the part of a pratik will end the tie. the intermediary will be seen to be trading some portion of her potential profit in a theoretically random market situation. In general. At the other end of the chain. or advance a loan against a future crop.ties is to secure and solidify the channels of trade. The reciprocal reward for these concessions takes the form of more assured pathways to supply and demand. the nature of the pratik arrangement will differ.

particularly rice. 8 . the most common basis for pratik with the producer is by loans against a future crop.make small concessions in price -. With relatively imperishable stock. Where perishable goods are concerned. even for short periods. relationships with producers based on price concessions develop when such producers have relatively large stocks of less perishable goods. and more capital available for necessities. she may be willing to pay slightly more per unit of purchase when she buys. But in the case of relatively more durable stock – unhusked millet or dried corn for instance – the producer-seller may be in a position to retain his supply in anticipation of a price rise. Generally speaking. this is even more the case. as in the case of onions or tomatoes. much as if their produce were subject to rapid spoilage. short harvests. predominate in transactions with producers of perishables. and high unit costs enter into shaping pratik relationships in other ways. In the case of items that spoil readily. to the exclusion of price concessions. but loans. loans are made to producers of onions. are more likely to have to sell off to any buyer. the retailer when bargaining will increase quantity rather than lower price as a matter of practice. Loans to producers are made in several ways. In the Saint Raphael region of the north. which are subject to rather rapid spoilage. Her concessions increase her chances of acquiring stock when goods are scarce and resale profits potentially high.than to give the same amount of stock for less money. In such instances. even of imperishable stocks. Peasants in this situation are able to “hold back" on two counts: better storage facilities. the buying intermediary wins no future assurance of supply by offering more than the going price precisely because the producer-seller is unable to hold stock for her. Perishability and like considerations such as fragility. and to producers of rice and tobacco. The producer-seller is going to sell off to the first buyer who comes along and offers the going price. given his lack of storage and refrigeration facilities. and where the buyerintermediary regularly acquires stock from the producer.giving a little more for the same amount of money -. He cannot hold stock of this sort. even when not dealing with pratik who buy from her. Correspondingly. Less well-fixed producers. Such loans are made to either large-scale or small-scale producers of less perishable stock (with large-scale producers also winning concessions in price). The intermediary buying from her producer pratik is unlikely to offer to buy at higher than the going price if the product rots easily.

or bags of onions. marketing difficulties and the complaints some informants made indicate that they did lose money. The peasant does not normally put up his land or other real property as collateral. or rather on the estimated yield of a given acreage. or bundles of tobacco to be harvested. and do not affect the terms. The intermediary who lends him money is probably resident in his community.both less perishable. The pratik relationship itself is the basis for the loan even though the loan is contractual. Loans made by intermediaries. Creditors are entitled to claim their stock at the very start of the harvest. it is relevant to explore why peasants make such arrangements. These loans are paid off in kind rather than in cash. The need for cash in the planting season is sometimes severe. She will either have some knowledge of the subject herself or depend on her husband or some trusted male friend in making such judgments. At the other end of the chain of intermediaries – that is. are generally small. though. The lending intermediary in these cases takes two risks: one of crop failure and the other of a market glut. their class position is not likely to be different. as between retailer and consumer – the character of pratik is different. though generally sealed by an informal contract. at which time market prices are high. Some said they would advance no more money for tobacco crops. and it is a relationship requiring some mutual trust and regard. both in kind and in scale. Surely she does her best to protect herself in lending her capital to producers. however. the opening market prices for rice in the fall and onions in the spring make this unlikely. which he would be expected to do if he borrowed from a townsman or from a wealthy farmer. are only a means for putting a reasonable ceiling on the loan. In the case of tobacco. while cash loans or credit are difficult to secure by other means. A retailer of vegetable produce in Port-au9 . and this will probably affect the next year's tobacco crop. Since it is likely that the producer who borrows from an intermediary will be turning over his product at harvest at a selling price below what he could get in the open market. It appears to be the usual practice to estimate the price-to-be of the product and to lend money on these terms. The intermediary advances cash against the expected number of barrels of rice. These estimates. Though some intermediaries claim that they have lost money on crop loans. and claiming the entire harvest as it ripens. Loans are usually advanced on the basis of acreage. and though she may handle more cash than he. Often the intermediary "buys" the total crop by making a flat cash payment before harvest.

she will raise her price but she rarely has to do this. She sets her opening price in line with her expectations. Prices for particular items take shape in a fashion surprisingly reminiscent of the textbook examples. for instance. If the item in question varies much in size or quality. she also knows at what price she has risked buying. If there are a dozen sellers of cornmeal or red beans in a given market at ten o'clock in the morning – by which time the market has been in progress and prices have been finding their levels for several hours – it will be difficult to find a single seller whose price varies as much as a penny a unit for the stock in question. each pile will contain an assortment. but particularly by concessions in quantity. Unless there is considerable variation in quality or condition.Prince. she will reluctantly but quickly come down. The “extra” – dégi or tiyô in Creole – is part of many transactions. tries to acquire a group of steady customers. and so on. whether an itinerant house-to-house seller or stall keeper in the large city markets. the giving of an extra portion is sometimes more subtle. however. the "extra" given in these instances is in excess of the heaped tin.4 All grains and legumes. the avocado. corn and cornmeal. p. 87): "Some sellers favor their regular customers in other ways. If demand is slack (and customers voluble in their disdain). sweet potatoes. or if sellers with very small stocks have the need to sell off very rapidly. and many other perishable foods and some other items are sold in small piles. since the asking price usually adjusts downward by small concessions until it becomes stabilized. are sold in units of tin cans of various sizes (Mintz 1961) normally heaped to spilling. the going price for unit stock of this sort rapidly comes to be relatively uniform. if the stock is very scanty and the demand high. and the differences between these piles are slight indeed. These customers are made and held by price and quantity concessions. not over time or uniformly in different market settings. millet. In food measured by the lot or pile. To give 'brawta' or 'make-up' is the practice. "Extra" to pratik is then given by selecting the better items to make a pile. and other sellers are doing business at a lower price. One will see a few such piles spread at the feet of a seller. The same is true for dried legumes such as rice. and difficult to measure. pigeon peas. What is worth remarking is the speed with which these adjustments are made. or by adding one or two additional units for the same price. If demand is steady and uncomplaining. if there are big variations in quality. The seller knows at what price a particular item sold on the previous market day. This is identical with the British and American practice of giving something additional in a transaction. for instance." 10 . 4 The same procedure is reported from Jamaica. The Haitian squash (Creole: militô). this uniformity of price will prevail. Exceptions occur. Katzin writes (1959. but for a given and particular situation. red and black beans. all along the line from rural producer to retail buyer. and the piles are carefully prepared so that this will be so. On a given day at a particular time in any market.

and in the provincial cities. Each of the retailers of a certain product in the market may be expected to have pratik. the pratik buyer gets the product at a lower price – or else. It remains to discuss pratik relationships between intermediaries. gets a greater quantity for the same price. These are various in nature. is the competition of the open market. these relationships are pervasive at the same time that they are partly hidden. The upshot of this is that two sorts of competition. legumes. Since the bulking intermediaries carry 11 . relationships between wholesalers and retailers of agricultural products. Credit extension and concessions in quantity are the major means of tying retailer pratik to the wholesaler. and fresh fruits and vegetables. nor even necessarily the same kind of concession. but only one category will be treated. The pratik buyer comes to his or her pratik seller and inquires after the price of a certain good. or they may be thought of as occurring within the field of these wider changes. bulker. Intermediaries admit both to having buying pratik and to concealing the details of their pratik relationships from their competitors. But they remain in constant competition with other sellers of the same product. Since this occurs only with pratik. namely. it should not be thought that the intermediary is lowering the going price of her stock on the open market. are bulked by intermediaries who buy from numerous small producers and wholesale to retailers who break bulk in selling to consumers. The first sort. The going price rises and falls in relation to supply and demand (Mintz. such as dried grains.The implications of price uniformity for the pratik phenomenon are interesting. occur in the same setting. in and around the big markets. and more typically. The second sort is the competition for pratik. Many agricultural items. revealed by the emerging uniformity of the asking price at anyone time for a given product in a single market. Market women do not advertise their pratik. in terms of their asking price. It is to the center of this series that attention is now directed. however. Price reductions are also employed. The price quoted does not vary from that quoted to any other prospective buyer. Not all buying pratik are granted the same measure of concession. and more important. proceeding behind the screen of apparent price uniformity. price concessions of the sort described here are additional to general supply-demand based changes. When the sale is consummated. they make these pratik and hold them essentially by giving more for less. Such a series includes a minimum of four participants: producer. very different from each other. Retailer pratik are to be found mainly in the capital. 1959: 24). and consumer. retailer.

she will make a very reasonable selling offer.00 the sack. the economic rationality of such behavior is clearly demonstrated.S. Though the quantities of anyone item carried by a bulking intermediary and those purchased by any single retailer vary enormously. the relative scale can be suggested. until there is genuine mutual trust. U. I keep my stock here. If the answer is a friendly affirmative. A bulking intermediary will call over a would-be buyer unfamiliar to her and invite her to buy.00. or refill the sacks to their original overflowing." With more talk. pratik with retailers is decidedly advantageous to the bulking intermediary. Such examples make clear that the old woman on her way to market who refuses to sell her stock to a passing stranger at a very favorable price is not in fact behaving irrationally.S. or even six. she hides them from the other women. Each woman will carefully watch the other's behavior on subsequent occasions. an understanding begins to emerge. $7. and thus put together enough onions for an extra sack. Pratik relationships seem to have a characteristic way of taking shape. As the sale is consummated. she will ask the buyer if she buys regularly on that day and at that place. A bulking intermediary with many retailer pratik may be able to dispose of half or more of her stock through her pratik." Or: "When X promises to buy eggs for me. When reselling her onions at the U. she will reduce the quantity of onions in each sack by one or two cansful. I always come on this day. quite the contrary. for resale by the pound or canful. at the depot of Madame X. 10 cansful of onions when filled to bursting. my pratik never lets me sleep in the depot -. I come from such-and-such a town. a charge which even local city people are fond of leveling at every opportunity. After some talk. Since onions are speculative. or two. Careful examination of the Haitian 12 . When vaunting the solidarity of a pratik. For her trade at large. Sometimes these credit arrangements include a carrying charge or interest. yielding good profits sometimes but glutting the markets at others. say. she may provide her pratik with one of two kinds of advantage: reduce the price per sack. she will say meaningfully: 'Wait for me. Nor does her unwillingness to sell demonstrate that her real purpose in going to market is merely to gossip with her neighbors.” A buying pratik who knows her selling pratik is coming will wait at the proper place and time. She may also be willing to sell to some of her established pratik on credit. An onion bulker from the north will usually carry from about seven to about twenty sacks of onions to the capital to wholesale. A Port-au-Prince retailer may purchase one sack. and will not consider their offers.00 rate. These sacks hold approximately fifteen to sixteen No.relatively large stocks. as in several described by Katzin for Jamaica. $9. if the seller likes the buyer's manner. they will make pratik with numbers of retailers. The bulking intermediary will buy onions from the producer at. an intermediary will say: When I go to Port-au Prince. refusing to buy stock from others that she is sure her pratik is carrying. S. if the market is very brisk.I sleep in her house. giving them a week or ten days to sell off and repay her in the form of cash. I come here with the truck called so-and-so. and resell at U. $9.5 5 In this instance.

" 13 . 1951). p. In the brief discussion of Haitian agriculture undertaken earlier. But the pratik custom plays an integrating role. are attended primarily for social pleasure. and intermediaries do not at present form such combinations in order to bulk produce on a larger scale. Intermediary activity has a highly fragmented individualistic character. nor one who takes naturally to the complexities of commercial life. James writes (1942. many of them in the open country. reduce overhead. A final point may be considered here.6 It should be clear. It is at least worth considering whether cooperative economic activity in a country such as Haiti might not be strengthened more by careful prior analysis of dyadic relationships. it appears to be even truer of marketing. or otherwise act collectively in their own group interest. p. to be replaced by day labor in most cases. and in fact relatively little institutionalized cooperation. But I think that in the Haitian countryside there is great economic individualism in agriculture. partly because they occur mainly within the distributive system rather than wholly within production. fragile. have received little or no attention. not for buying and selling. while they modify somewhat the nature of the distributive process." 6 This is often misunderstood to be a lack of commercial sophistication. and trivial alongside the work societies. arise precisely because intermediaries understand the basic character of the Haitian economy so well. situation throws light on James' claim (1942. nothing was said of the economic and social arrangements by which work is done. It may be that some observers of Haitian rural society have not noticed the variety of integrating social forms serving various ends. which persist through time. Ties of the pratik kind may be most common in those societies in which more extended formal social devices have never existed or have fallen into disuse. fix prices. Considerable emphasis is put on cooperative work groups by those writing on Haitian rural economy (Metraux. partly because they seem socially narrow. But overmuch notice is still taken of these disappearing work groups since they have somehow caught the imagination of observers and visiting planners. If this is true in agriculture. It is built up out of series or chains of dyadic relationships. however. than by the marshaling of nostalgic suppositions about an institution now nearly vanished from the scene. and are founded on mutual trust for mutual advantage. and that they may refuse to make certain sales because of some irrational streak. 771) that "The markets which are held throughout rural Haiti. The kôbit and kové work societies of old have nearly disappeared from Haitian agriculture. 771): "The average rural Haitian is not a person of great ambition. One may be led to believe that the selling behavior of intermediaries is random or whimsical. purchase trucks. that personalized economic relationships. Pratik relationships. Combines of intermediaries do not exist.To the extent that her stock is committed in such arrangements. a selling pratik will refuse to sell to others until she has met her pratik buyer.

14 .

Peter T. Imprimerie de l'Etat. in Proceedings of the American Ethnological Society edited by Verne F. James. Seattle.Haiti. Odyssey Press. Higglers of Jamaica. Paul. D.REFERENCES Bauer. Occasional Papers in Education. No. Port-au-Prince. XV.2. Sidney W. 15-57. Robert A. Ph. Internal Market Systems as Mechanisms of Social Articulation. --------. Margaret F. Northwestern University. 15 . Human Organization. 1959. TV. Cambridge University Press. et al. Life in a Haitian Valley. Katzin. Haiti. Thesis. Latin America. D.. Making a Living in the Marbial Valley (Haiti). 1953. Memoir 74). A Tentative Typology of Eight Haitian Market Places. texts. 1957. 1937. Metraux. 91 (1): 23-38. Herskovits. UNESCO Educational Clearing House. University of Washington Press. 1959. Aspects of the Internal Distribution System in a Caribbean Peasant Economy. West African Trade. 10. vocabulary (American Anthropological Association. 18-23.C. Jr. Melville J. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Haitian creole grammar. Cambridge. New York. --------. --------. 1954. Revista de Ciencias Sociales. 1942. Washington . Ray. No. Mintz. 1961. New York. Standards of Value and Units of Measure in the Fond-des-Negres Market Place. 1960. Preston E. Moral. Paris. Knopf. 1951. 1959. Hall. Alfred. l'Economie haitienne.2. No.